Getting your first apartment is incredibly exciting, no matter how old you are when you move. Still, it’s incredibly difficult to prepare for all that comes with your first apartment, and costs can get out of control quickly. Your first utility bill is going to be shockingly high. It’s something you don’t think about until it’s your apartment and bill to worry about, after all. This makes it easy to overlook.

Don’t fall trap to overlooking your utility bill. There are several methods to make sure that you limit these expenses as much as possible. Here are just a few of them.

Keep Air Filters and Vents Clean

Natural gas is actually the second most commonly used source of energy in the United States. So, don’t waste any of the energy that you’re already using. Dirty vents and filters are bad for your health, and they slow airflow. In turn, this forces you to use more energy, raising your bills. However, if you clean them, you can avoid this issue.

Utilize Natural Light

One of the easiest ways to cut back on your bills is to rely on natural light rather than potentially costly light bulbs. Keep your curtains open during the daytime so that light streams into your new apartment. This will limit your need for lightbulbs. You can turn them off and not have to worry about light bulbs burning up your extra money when the bills come due. Furthermore, large windows that are strategically placed to take in as much sun as possible actually help to heat your home. This means that you can keep the temperature lower in your home, assuming your apartment was designed with this fact in mind, and lower your bills again.

Keep Your Thermostat Low

It’s so easy to overlook how much gas it takes to heat your apartment. It’s only natural to keep your apartment at whatever temperature you’re personally comfortable at. However, these basic things are where you’re going to see the biggest impact on your gas and utility bills. This is a fact that you can learn from the real estate agent you may have worked with to lease your apartment, as 78% of home buyers found their real estate agents to be useful sources of information.

Consider Your Laundry Habits

Doing laundry takes up a ton of energy. So, if you’re noticing that your utility bill is higher than expected, it may be related to your laundry habits. These habits range from how often you do laundry to the settings you use when you’re doing laundry. The first thing to remember when you’re doing laundry is to keep the water set to cold. The temperature of your water doesn’t affect the cleanliness of your clothes, but hot water does use more energy. The other important thing to remember is that you need to do as few loads of laundry as possible, so make sure that you only do laundry when you have a full load that needs to be done.

Meal Prep

Meal prepping is when you cook your food for the week at the beginning of the week and eat it throughout the rest of the week. This is a great way to save energy and gas, as using your oven each day adds up. You’ll also be doing dishes less often, which also helps lessen your energy consumption.

Unplug Electronics When They’re Not in Use

Did you know that electronics still use electricity when they’re plugged in but not in use? It’s true. So, after you’re done playing one of the 200 million copies of Minecraft that have been sold or are done with your laptop for the night, unplug your appliances. It’s a great way to cut back on your energy bill without having to change any habits.

Consider these tips when you move into your first apartment. You may be surprised how expensive your gas and utility bills can get when you’re not paying attention to your daily and weekly habits. By being more considerate about your energy consumption on a day-to-day basis, you can keep your gas bill low and save plenty of money over time.

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